The 23rd Language: Official EU Status for Irish as Portrayed in the Republic of Ireland's English-Language Press

Keywords: Irish language, European Union, Republic of Ireland, print media, newspapers, media portrayal, qualitative content analysis


Irish became the 23rd official language of the European Union (EU) in 2007. Due to a lack of qualified translators and interpreters, it is currently subject to a derogation which restricts its use in the EU institutions, a situation which aims to be remedied by 2022. Yet the Irish language represents a unique case even within the Republic of Ireland itself. Under British rule, centuries of repression confined its usage to the rural fringes of society, a state of affairs that an independent Ireland has attempted to improve with limited success. This article analyses how recognition of official EU status for Irish has been depicted in the Republic of Ireland’s English-language print media. By performing a qualitative content analysis of the online archives of the country’s three major English-language newspapers, the aim is to illustrate how official EU status for Irish has been portrayed, paying specific attention to political, cultural and economic factors.

Author Biography

Antony Hoyte-West, University of Rzeszów, Poland

Antony Hoyte-West is an interdisciplinary researcher focusing on multilingualism and translation studies. A graduate of the universities of St Andrews, Oxford, and NUI Galway, his research interests include historical and contemporary language policy, the institutional translation of minority languages, and the professional status of translators and interpreters. To date, he has presented his work at more than a dozen international conferences and is also the author of several peer-reviewed publications. He is also the Language Editor of Discourses on Culture (ISSN 2450-0402), a peer-reviewed journal based at the University of Social Sciences, Warsaw.


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How to Cite
Hoyte-West, A. (2020). The 23rd Language: Official EU Status for Irish as Portrayed in the Republic of Ireland’s English-Language Press. English Studies at NBU, 6(1), 173-183.